Erick Geryol, owner of new Tempe Italian spot The Quartiere, is sharing his Bolognese sauce recipe because he wants to shed some light on the thick, slow-simmered, full-flavored ragu. "It's something everyone can make at home and I think it's one of the best sauces out there."
When shopping for ingredients, look for Fontanini Italian sausage, a brand that Geryol grew up with in the Midwest. "You can't cook Italian food without it," he says. Also, if you don't have the time or patience to make demi-glace, you can pick some up pre-made at Whole Foods.
Because the sauce is sturdy, remember to pick hearty pasta to match – something like gemelli, fettuccine or pappardelle, Geryol says. "You need something to support the weight of the sauce."
The Quartiere Bolognese
2 lbs. good quality ground beef, 80/20 or higher fat
1 ½ lbs. Fontanini Italian sausage
3 oz. pancetta, finely diced
3 oz. prosciutto, finely diced
3 oz. chicken liver, pureed
¾ cup tomato puree
3 cups beef stock
1 ½ cups veal stock/demi-glace
3 cups white wine
½ tsp. chili flakes
3 bay leaves
Soffritto (3 carrots, 3 onions, 3 celery stalks) browned and finely diced
Salt and pepper, to taste
6 tbsp. olive oil
In a large pot, render fat from prosciutto, then add soffritto. Cook until brown. Add all meats, brown and break apart. Add tomato paste and oil, if needed, and cook until it darkens. Add wine and cook until dry. Add beef and veal stock, bay leaves and chili, and then reduce. Simmer for two hours. Stir as needed. Sauce should be smooth and homogeneous. Add salt and pepper throughout the process and taste as you go. You'll be reducing, so don't lead with heavy salt.
Serve atop pasta of choice with a sprinkle of Parmesan and a hearty glass of red.
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